The Murdoch-owned Daily Telegraph has come under fire for its alleged racist front-page headline, using the phrase ‘panda huggers on notice’.
The story covered new legislation between Australia and other foreign nations, which will affect a number of deals we have with China, our largest trading partner.
The new legislation will allow the Foreign Minister to veto an agreement between Australia and other nations if the government believes it will adversely affect Australia’s objectives.
In order to explain the story, journalists at The Daily Telegraph decided a headline with the words “panda huggers” would be most apt.
The choice of words has caught the ire of the Twittersphere, with many calling out the paper for racism, as the term “panda hugger” typically refers to people who support China.
“I want 20 new racist names for Chinese people on my desk by tomorrow morning or you’re fired!” https://t.co/d4POtZI0Qi
— Tosh Greenslade (@ToshGreenslade) August 26, 2020
Surely the ultimate example of context defining content. Could you come up with a more adorable racist slur than “panda huggers”? https://t.co/VUcuYCcIr8
— Simon Bowden (@sj_bowden) August 26, 2020
Where are these panda's and where can I hug them?
— Ned Balme (@NedBalmeLives) August 26, 2020
The racism accusation follows a similar incident six months ago when a change.org petition called for an apology from News Corp papers the Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph over their respective “downright offensive” headlines about the coronavirus.
A front-page story in the Herald Sun on 29 January labeled the coronavirus as “Chinese virus pandamonium”. Meanwhile, a Daily Telegraph headline called for “China kids [to] stay home”.
B&T contacted News Corp for comment.